Annabhishekam’ was held on the 7th of Nov. at Gangai Konda Cholapuram Shive temple, TN

The Brihadeeswarar temple of  Gangaikonda  Cholapuram in the Ariyalur district of Tamil Nadu is a UNESCO recognized world heritage site and was built by the son of great Chola ruler of Thanjavur Sri Rajaraja Chola.  King Rajendra Chola 1 is believed to have built the temple in 1035 AD using the ''Thanjai Periya Kovil'' as a model

Dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a lingam, the temple houses one of the largest monolithic lingams -18 feet wide and 13 1/2 feet tall in he country. Unlike many Shiva temple here the large stone Nandi (bull) is out side the temple facing the main shrine. No mantap or hall is built up over the lord's vahana, In sitting posture, it is a well-made Nandi.  This ancient temple has stone  inscriptions,  paintings and stone and bronze sculptures.

In addition to regular annual temple festivals at this temple for several years the festival of Annabhishekam  has been conducted in the Tamil month of  Aippasi- Mid-October to Mid-November. 

What is special about it is the huge  stone idol of linga in the sanctum - garbagiha  is covered with  cooked rice on this day. On completion of other rituals and puja protocols the cooked rice  is given to devotees in large numbers as offering or prasad.  Normally more tha 1000 devotees attend the Annabhishekam ritual..    

G.K.Cholapuram shiva temple, TN,

G.K.Cholapuram shiva temple, TN, large

This year on the 7th of November the ‘annabhishekam’ was performed to Siva Lingam at the famous Sri Brihadeeswarar temple in Gangaikondacholapuram in on the ‘Aippasi Pournami day on Monday. It was grand ceremony attended by a large number of devotees not only from the local towns, but also from other neighboring places.  For the annual ‘Annabhishekam’ more than one hundred bags  of rice were cooked  and the ritual lasted almost whole day from  9am till 5pm.  The ‘Mahadeeparadhana’ a daily ritual and the devotees  offered worship to the deity.

Huge nandi, G.K.Cholapuram, TN.

Gangaikonda Cholapuram, TN

On completion of this ritual  there was distribution of ''annam'' - cooked food (prasadam) to the  devotees

Simhakeni(Lion-well) in Gangaikondacholapuram temple

The annual event was organized by Sri Annabishekam Committee of Kanchi Sankara Mutt. The Annabishekam ceremony was initiated way back in 1986 at the instigation of Kanchi Mahaperiva who recalled that when Rajendra Chola consecrated the huge linga in the Karvarai - sanctum, he had Ganga water brought from the north  and successfully completed the installation.